KILLER LISTING by Vicki Doudera, Midnight Ink, Woodbury, Minn., 2011, paperback, 328 pages, $14.95.
Doudera, a successful Camden Realtor, is back with the second installment in her Darby Farr mystery series, proving once again that real estate can be murder.
This novel finds Farr visiting Florida’s Gulf Coast. She’s there to sell the half of Near & Farr Realty that she inherited from her Aunt Jane to Kyle Cameron, a real go-getter in the local market.
Of course, if things were that simple, “Killer Listing” would have been a really short book. But Cameron is found murdered, seemingly the latest victim of the “Kondo Killer,” a serial killer targeting real estate agents at open houses.
So now Farr finds herself without someone to take over for her so she can get back to her agency in California, from which she’s been away too long. Complicating things is that Aunt Jane’s old partner, Helen Near, needs Farr’s help to make the sale of a pro golfer’s multi-million-dollar mansion.
In addition, it’s soon clear that Cameron’s murder wasn’t the work of the “Kondo Killer.” And with Cameron having an estranged husband, an ex-lover, the ex-lover’s politician wife and co-workers that she’d trampled on the way to the top, there’s no shortage of suspects.
With her reputation as an amateur sleuth preceding her, Farr soon gets drawn into the case by the attractive local lead detective.
Despite shifting markets from Maine to Florida, Doudera has managed to make what can be an arcane world accessible to readers, and masterfully uses the backdrop of high-stakes realty as a great setting for a murder mystery. “Killer Listing” should sell Darby Farr to many new readers.